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Originally posted by MrFake
Well, it's a known fact that the first country that discovers an economically-viable way to get in and out of space will dominate the world. IMO, we should concentrate on building something like a space elevator, more than space exploration. Imagine the exploration that could be funded by a country that could successfully take advantage of our solar system's resources..
Geoff Marcy is mad. Not mad as in 'crazy,' although many scientists thought he was nuts when he first started hunting for planets orbiting far-distant stars over 20 years ago. Now that over 500 exoplanets have been detected and the Kepler space telescope has over 1,200 candidate planets waiting to be confirmed, Marcy's dedication and hard work (and his sanity) have been vindicated.
But Marcy is still mad at NASA for canceling exoplanet missions like the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). He's also angered by what he sees as a lack of leadership and cooperation for exoplanet missions within NASA and the larger astrophysics community. [Gallery: The Strangest Alien Planets] Marcy expressed his ire at a recent exoplanet symposium hosted by MIT planetary scientist Sara Seager."I'm unhappy about the last 10 years, and the next 10 years," he said.
Roughly one out of every 37 to one out of every 70 sunlike stars in the sky might harbor an alien Earth, a new study reveals. These findings hint that billions of Earthlike planets might exist in our galaxy, researchers added. These new calculations are based in data from the Kepler space telescope, which in February wowed the globe by revealing more than 1,200 possible alien worlds, including 68 potentially Earth-size planets. The spacecraft does so by looking for the dimming that occurs when a world transits or moves in front of a star.
Not so, check out the Kepler mission.
Exoplanets appear extremely close to their host stars when observed at astronomical distances. Even the closest of stars are several light years away. This means that while looking for exoplanets, one would typically be observing very small angles from the star, on the order of several tens of milli-arcseconds. Angles this small are impossible to resolve from the ground due to astronomical seeing.
Exoplanets are extremely dim compared to their host stars. Typically, the star will be approximately a billion times brighter than the orbiting planet. This makes it near-impossible to see planets against the star's glare.